|Date submitted: October 24, 2006|
|Location on plaza map: B4|
|Jennifer Hesketh Aviles is a community activist and volunteer who has focused on issues ranging from education, women’s and girls’ opportunities and rights, diversity, leadership, and social justice to long distance running. She earned her BA and Diploma in Business Administration for College Graduates from Simmons College, Boston and is a trained mediator. Highlights of her career include being a successful lobbyist for the reduction of Davis-Monthan AFB traffic over the City of Tucson, an early member of the City of Tucson’s Desegregation Site Committee, a member of the board of the Tucson Rape Crisis Center, the administrator of the National Running Data Center, Inc., initiator and proponent for the installation of children school crossing zones at Peter Howell and Sewell Elementary Schools on 5th Street, program coordinator senior for the University of Arizona’s Commission on the Status of Women and the Diversity Action Council and a member of the University of Arizona presidential search and screening committee that led to the selection of current president Peter Likins. She chaired the organizing committee of UA’s annual Daughters on Campus Day for three years, bringing the local event to national prominence and incorporating financial aid and housing information for junior and senior high school girls. Her background includes more than 16 years of diverse cross-cultural experience acquired through living in Colombia, India, the Philippines, Australia and Japan as well as spending an extended period in France. Her more recent board service has included co-chair of the executive committee of the Women’s Plaza of Honor and chair of the Plaza’s Design and Construction Committee, vice president of the UA’s Women Studies Advisory Council, board member of Greater Tucson Leadership, and chair and board member of the UA’s Center for Student Involvement and Leadership. |
Jennifer is a recipient of the Greater Tucson Leadership Kurth Award (2002), the Tucson YWCA Woman on the Move Award (1998), UA Award for Excellence (1994) and Women’s Long Distance Running Committee of USAT&F Outstanding Contributor Award (1985).
"I first met Jennifer while running on a mountain trail in Tucson, and came to know her as an amazing woman. Over time we became running partners, close friends, and then lovers and life partners. Jennifer has an incredible depth of character that comes from her many life experiences. Over a period of sixteen years as she grew up she lived all over the world: Columbia, India, the Philippines, Japan, with extended visits to Australia and France. For decades she has worked and served to make Tucson a better place to live for all of us, from improving traffic safety at neighborhood schools to lobbying for improved Davis Monthan AFB flight safety to working on the City of Tucson Southeast Planning and Coordinating Committee to serving on numerous community boards. An amazing athlete, Jennifer has run more than 20 marathons throughout the United States, completed the Tucson Old Pueblo 50 mile foot race and run three over-and-back crossings of the Grand Canyon (each crossing in less than a single day!) Through all of this, Jennifer has been a loving parent to her son Michael and daughter Heather, and has lovingly accepted my daughter Cristina. It is an incredible experience to be married to such a wonderful woman who is so rich of character. With Jennifer I have learned the true meaning of love. She is the love of my life. It is a great pleasure to be able to honor her in the Women’s Plaza of Honor, a project that she has championed at the University of Arizona." --Enrique Aviles